Just a quick note based on something I wrote to a friend’s daughter about problems in Kashmir. A Jungian tale I recently heard, a marker for our times.
Once there was a severe drought in a village. There was no water, so all vegetation died, and there was no food for people. The cattle started dying as well; life was hard. Someone said that in a village far away lived a Rainman who had a divine gift of bringing rain.
The village elders travelled far on foot to seek his help and invited him to their vllage. He came in silence, and put up a tent in the middle of the village square, and sealed himself in. There was no word, no sound, not a whisper from within the tent.
One day passed – but there no rain. The villagers started getting restless. They expected him to light fires, chant,dance, invoke their slumbering raingods. Another day passed – still no sound from the tent. No rain either. The people started getting really anxious. Third day passed, no worship, no chanting, no invoking the gods, no Rainman. Just stillness and quiet. Absolute silence.
By now the people had had enough. So some of them went into the tent, angry, and demanded an explanation for his inactivity. He only smiled in his quietude. Some of them got frustrated and told the guy that he was no good, and that he needed to go away.
The Rainman quietly started packing is bags, and folding down his tent, preparing to leave. The village watched with mixed feelings of rage and despondence – if only he invoked their gods, they would have rain. But he didn’t seem to want to do it.
Suddenly, out on the horizon, the dark clouds began gathering and moving towards the village. In time, there was rain. The people were happy and apologised to the Rainman, asking him how he had brought about the change. The Rainman continued packing the last of his belonging into the bag, and when he was done, he smilingly spoke his first words in over five days: “healing unfolds in the stillness, only when there is silence at the center.”
In the world today, there is much egotistical chatter. No silence, no stillness. And hence, our internal and external life is prevented from unfolding its patterns. The Rainman is a metaphor for our Self, and he brings forth gifts of healing in and through a centered silence.
This Thanksgiving, lets be grateful for all we have, and then lets close our eyes and remain still for a while, striving for a moment of real silence, so that our Self, the center of our existence, can experience the gift of quietude.
Happy Thanksgiving all.
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